In today’s age, any nonprofit organization needs a specialized marketing system that solves its nuanced challenges. The need for intuitive marketing in nonprofit organizations is as much as in a for-profit one, if not more. Appealing and convincing multiple stakeholders (volunteers, donors, etc.) at scale needs tactical marketing and state-of-the-art marketing automation.
In this article, we will:
Nonprofit marketing is simply employing marketing strategies and tactics to further the cause and mission of an organization, resulting in donations and volunteer support.
Nonprofit marketing includes the branding and positioning of a nonprofit organization's cause and creating a media campaign to get supporters for the cause.
The goal of a nonprofit organization is to position and promote the organization’s cause to get the attention of donors and supporters.
Before we dive in on the various steps to create an unbeatable marketing plan, let us first understand what exactly is a nonprofit marketing plan.
A nonprofit marketing plan is simply a roadmap that details and outlines the activities a nonprofit organization needs to execute to achieve its biggest goals.
Creating a nonprofit marketing plan will help you bring new inbound volunteers and donors that will help you grow your nonprofit community.
Start your marketing plan by stating your mission and vision statement. This will keep everyone up to date about what matters most for your nonprofit organization.
Mission and vision will act like principles and priorities towards which your organization will work on. These strategies will act like the north star metric towards which you need to guide your marketing efforts.
Next, a nonprofit needs to calibrate goals that put the mission and vision of the organization into real-world action.
The entire point of a marketing plan is to put your mission into action, so the logical next step has to be defining your goals. Let’s say you want to save underage children from illiteracy. Some of the strategic ways to do that will be by producing blog content that makes the general public aware of the menace of illiteracy in the country, or create a video advert and post it on YouTube.
Now, let's go further and make these goals more precise. Instead of simply having the goal of posting blog content, make the goal say posting 1 blog article to increase traffic by 10%. This goal is precise, measurable, and relevant. Go with the mindset of creating 4-5, precise, and measurable marketing goals that move the needle of your organization towards your mission.
You cannot create a successful marketing plan until you know your audience. Speaking to your audience’s inner needs, aspirations, desires, and wants, and presenting your product as the solution is the key to the success of any marketing plan.
To do this correctly, first, you need to study who your target audience is and understand why they will be interested in you. The best way to do this is by studying a nonprofit with a similar mission like yours and studying their audience.
See the kind of content the nonprofit organization is producing, and what aspects of it is forming a connection with their audiences. You can additionally use Facebook’s Audience insights and see the kind of demography that the organization’s page is attracting. Study what other things the audience is interested in. After getting that data, you can fine-tune your messaging accordingly.
Alternatively, you can use FB ads to target the audience of other nonprofit organizations and conduct a survey on them to get a better understanding of their motivating factors. You can use this information in your marketing communication.
While conducting the survey, divide it into parts to address each constituent. You can do this by having one part of the survey only for donors, another part for volunteers, and so on. Getting details about their interest and motivation for your cause will help you create magnetic messaging that will help you scale your nonprofit fast.
Pro tip - You can also use a tool like SimilarWeb to get deeper insights into other nonprofit organizations’ audiences and see what kind of content is clicking with them.
Next, divide each segment of the audience into buyer personas. Your marketing message will differ a lot based on the segment you are speaking with. For example, if you are speaking to a donor, your language and motivational levers will be vastly different than when speaking to a prospective volunteer for the organization.
Key messages are the genesis of your marketing communication. If there is one takeaway that your stakeholders (volunteers, donors, etc.) need to take home about your nonprofit, it is this. Key messages act as a basis for the work you do, the everyday actions you take, the relationships you build, and the SOPs (Standard operating procedures) you want the people in your organization to commit to.
Key messages bring a sense of uniformity to the organization. Though you might have a mission, your stakeholders might add their own verbiage to describe your organization. Now, they might be vaguely right in the description, but it won't hold the same impact as a well thought out mission.
Also, it does not create the impact of consistency a nonprofit should aim for. Crafting a key message and distributing it as a core practice in the organization helps people stay aligned with your mission and also creates the impact of brand consistency.
Doing this also helps you decluter your marketing and create a strong brand.
Once you create the key message, it’s time to take it to the next level. Start implementing this key message in custom forms geared towards your constituents. To do this right, you can use the data gathered on your stakeholders in step 3 and combine it with the core value of your key message.
Continuing with the example of child illiteracy, here’s an example of crafting key messages for each stakeholder:
All 3 messages have the same message of eradicating illiteracy by educating children. Having said that, notice the different tones based on who they are addressing.
Next, we go into the most exciting part of a marketing plan – Marketing tactics and strategies.
But before we dive into it, remember it is absolutely essential to go through the first 4 steps before going into actual tactics. Not doing so will be like shooting randomly in the dark as you will not have a basis and a structure to work your tactics towards.
Having said that, let’s explore marketing tactics in better detail.
Marketing tactics refer to communication strategies like email marketing, events, virtual summits, social media ads, press features, and more. We will dive deeper into it in the coming sections.
Whichever tactic you choose, you should first meticulously plan its execution with the end result clearly defined. To do this correctly, you need to ask these planning questions before executing each marketing tactic:
a) Why this marketing tactic?
b) When will you execute this tactic?
c) Who in your team will be responsible for its execution?
d) What is the budget for executing this tactic?
e) What is the expected measurable result you hope to achieve from this tactic?
Analyzing your performance and reiterating what works is the key to scaling an organization. Once you execute your marketing tactics, you need to study the results of each tactic and see what worked and what didn't. Next, you need to double down on what works and reverse engineer the cause for it. You can use tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and Social Media analytics for FB, Twitter, etc. to get this done.
In the same way, study why some tactics failed, and use the above tools to dissect them.
If you know exactly what you want to measure, you will know exactly what you need to look for to measure and map its success.
Running a nonprofit organization is not easy. You are constantly inundated with tasks and have to be a jack of all trades to get the ball rolling. You need to convince separate segments of stakeholders to join your cause and use different levers of motivation for each segment.
So, how does a nonprofit organization successfully reach out to donors, volunteers, and customers, and effectively appeal to them at scale?
The answer lies in using a marketing automation system that helps you scale your marketing with minimal resources. The best marketing automation tool with complex workflows is HubSpot.
HubSpot is a tool that is specifically designed for marketers to scale their marketing operations and be more effective in their communication. It has a vast set of tools that can help a nonprofit optimize its marketing campaigns and help create a donor database.
There are multiple reasons why HubSpot’s marketing automation systems fit perfectly with the nuanced needs of a nonprofit.
Here are some of the top reasons why a nonprofit organization should use HubSpot marketing automation to scale their organization:
As a nonprofit, if your contacts and communications are not organized, you will waste a lot of time in managing them. The time investment and effort that goes into managing the backend will turn your focus away from scaling the organization.
The byproduct of this will be you getting so focused on organizing stuff manually that you will end up ignoring potential donors and volunteers for your nonprofit.
That's where HubSpot can help. As a rescue act, it will reduce your manual efforts by instantly fetching you a clear picture of your contact's journey and where exactly they are in your marketing funnel.
This will eliminate confusion and help you leverage your marketing communication to the maximum.
HubSpot workflows can easily help your nonprofit create personalization in your communication at scale. By using HubSpot’s workflow features, you can create an unprecedented level of personalization in your nonprofit marketing campaigns.
You can establish personalized automated email workflows that can get triggered when a contact submits a form, clicks a link in your email, views a particular page of your blog, clicks on a particular link in the blog, clicks on an ad, etc.
This can give you an immense amount of leverage in appealing to your donors and volunteers in a more influential way.
Countless new tools claim to be the best automation software in the market. In reality, most of them are clunky and have a steep learning curve attached to it. Often times, they do not work and require users to spend hectic hours dealing with their support. The experience can be jarring for a nonprofit that does not have technology experts to manage its backend.
Nonprofits need a marketing automation tool that works right out of the box and with minimal human involvement.
That's where HubSpot fits like a hand to glove. Its simple interface and clear instruction videos make it one of the most preferred choices for non-techies to handle their automation needs.
It is an ethical norm for every organization to be transparent and accountable about their operations. With nonprofits, there is an added pressure to be completely transparent due to the donor's sentiments and values attached to it.
One needs clear reporting on the money flow in the organization.
HubSpot workflows help in keeping things transparent by tracking where an organization's leads come from and are they converting towards your intended marketing goal.
A marketing manager can use this data to study what is working for the nonprofit organization and what isn't. Based on that, they can cut down on marketing activities that are not fetching results and reiterate on the campaigns that are moving the needle for the organization.
A nonprofit can use HubSpot’s brilliant marketing automation features to take their marketing campaign to the next level. Here are some of the best ways a nonprofit can use HubSpot’s marketing automation:
With HubSpot workflows, you can segment your donors based on their interaction with your nonprofit. You can segment them on factors like reasons for donating, frequency of donation, or the particular campaign they have donated to. Being able to segment and get the intel on the donor’s behavior, you can fine-tune your messaging with stronger triggers, thus improving the donation scale.
HubSpot makes it fairly simple to segment the donor database. You can simply use the Lists tool in HubSpot and use it to add or collect contact properties for the donor.
Here are some examples of donor segmentation that you can achieve:
Due to HubSpot’s ability to collect a lot of valuable insights from your audience, you can use other segment recipes that give you even more information to manage your campaign.
Here are some other marketing tactics you can apply once you have created the segmentation of lists.
This is another extremely powerful tool that customizes your organization’s messaging based on your different audience segments. This will help nonprofits to create a more magnetic appeal for their audiences by changing the web content, messages, images, and more, based on the audience’s customer journey.
An example of this can be of a nonprofit that has multiple branches across the world fighting child illiteracy. A donor that resides in the US may identify that they are specifically interested in helping the nonprofit in the US.
Based on this information, the donor can be segmented into the nonprofit’s US list. Doing this will help the nonprofit create custom messaging for the donor. So the next time the donor visits the site, HubSpot will enable the nonprofit to fetch custom images, videos, and content, that is targeted specifically towards the US mission.
A social inbox is a convenience tool that will organize the interactions happening with your segmented lists on social media, via one clean interface. So, once the contacts are segmented in terms of donors, volunteers, etc., you can pull them into their own stream where you can get a clear picture of their social media activity.
You can create lists on a vast variety of triggers like the campaigns they donated to, the pages they viewed on your site, the events they participated in, etc.
You can go even further by setting up alerts when a contact uses a certain keyword on social media. You can set alerts for your name or your cause and interact with the user as soon as they mention your organization.
This is the tool that offers various workflows and will make all the marketing automation happen for your nonprofit.
Use this tool to automatically change contact properties, send emails, organize lists of donors, and more.
A nonprofit can use the prospecting tool by HubSpot to get insights on companies that are visiting its website.
This comes extremely handy when you are reaching out to these companies as it acts as a conversational bridge based on their interest in your organization.
Since they visited your site, there's a higher possibility of them engaging and connecting with your organization's cause, making them a hot lead for becoming a donor for your current campaign.
Use this HubSpot tool to run data-backed marketing campaigns for your nonprofit and get the maximum ROI. HubSpot gives marketers the ability to split-test landing pages, emails, and other aspects of their messaging. Use this ability to split test your campaigns and see what fits right for your nonprofit. Once you zero in on a winner, reverse engineer what worked right in that campaign and double down its recipe for other campaigns. You can use the enterprise marketing tool to split-test and evaluate up to 5 different variables of your landing page.
For nonprofit organizations with a large database, the ability to split-test rapidly helps in scaling the organization further.
Here's how DepositFix helps convert donors for your nonprofit in 3 simple steps:
STEP 1 - DepositFix provides the best payment experience for your supporters, which increases your donation page conversion.
STEP 2 - Enabling data synchronization from DepositFix to HubSpot
STEP 3 - Ability to test different variations.
Let's explore these 3 steps in more detail.
Isn't it frustrating when you do everything to bring your donor to the payment page only for them to drop off at the very end due to a bad payment experience?
Well, think of it from your donor's point of view. It is extremely frustrating when they complete all the steps only to find that the payment page is not working or fetching properly on their mobile. Not only that, but it is also even more frustrating when there is a clutter of unnecessary form fields they have to deal with.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong on the payment page.
Let's fix that with DepositFix.
Here are some features of DepositFix that will instantly increase your donor conversions:
Check out our full list of features here.
DepositFix leverages the power of HubSpot's multi-touch attribution reporting to help you understand how your marketing activities create revenue.
This is the perfect way to understand how your marketing and other activities are doing in terms of generating revenue for your nonprofit organization. You just need to feed the right data into HubSpot so it can be generated properly.
By using DepositFix, you have the feature of data sync from DepositFix to HubSpot. We provide data to HubSpot (contact info with payment fields, deals, etc.), and then based on that data, users can create reports inside HubSpot.
This leads to a better understanding of customer behavior, and ultimately higher conversions.
DepositFix gives you the power to test different types of forms, layouts, and messaging. Be it a recurring only form or a one-time donation, you can test what works best for your organization. You can test variations in your email messaging too.
The idea is to give nonprofit organizations the power to test and reiterate what works best for them.
At this point, you can choose one of the 3 options.
You might be already using tools like Classy or DonorBox. They are awesome software, but for nonprofits specifically using HubSpot, they might not be the right fit as you will run into many limitations.
Firstly, the integration will be basic, and there will not be an attribution reporting to help you optimize and reiterate.
Secondly, these tools will come with the cookie-cutter approach and will not empower you with full customization features for your donation page layout, fields, and styles.
Also, it will be outside your website, and you will not be able to control the entire donation process.
You can go the homegrown route and build your own payment solution. This can be a great option for those who have the time and resources to run and manage 20-30 scripts in-house. Most nonprofit organizations do not have such resources, and software development is not their main focus. They need something simple that works right out of the box.
With DepositFix, you will get the most customized and feature-rich payment integration for HubSpot. Since DepositFix works only with HubSpot, it takes care of all the aspects that a payment solution needs to work seamlessly with HubSpot. This means no complex coding or jarring issues to bother about.
Also, since we are singularly-focused in serving nonprofits that use HubSpot, all our solutions are tailor-made to move the needle for such nonprofits only.
Also, there are no other software services for payments with that level of integration with HubSpot.